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Bone turnover

Bone turnover

Supplementation with magnesium may suppress bone turnover in young adults, possibly lowering the risk of bone loss and age-related osteoporosis, according to this study conducted on 12 healthy men (ages 27-36). The study group received oral magnesium daily with 2-h fasting before and after Mg intake. Serum biochemical markers of bone formation and resorption and urinary Mg level adjusted for creatinine were measured. The results showed that oral Mg supplementation in normal young adults caused reductions in serum levels of iPTH, ionized Mg2+, and biochemical markers of bone turnover. Mg supplementation also reduced levels of both serum bone formation and resorption biochemical markers after 1-5 days, consistent with the premise that Mg supplementation may have a suppressive effect on bone turnover rate.

Dimai HP Porta S Wirnsberger G Lindschinger M Pamperl I Dobnig H Wilders Truschnig M Lau KH: Daily oral magnesium supplementation suppresses bone turnover in young adult males, J-Clin-Endocrinol-Metab. 1998 Aug; 83(8): 2742-8 1998

Cardiovascular function/ethanol

Cardiovascular function/ethanol

Supplementation with dietary magnesium during chronic ethanol ingestion may reverse ethanol-induced alterations in baseline myocardial mechanical function, according to this study conducted on rats. After chronic ethanol exposure, the baseline force generating capacity of papillary muscles was markedly depressed and was associated with a significant slowing in the maximum velocities of contraction and relaxation. Dietary magnesium supplementation among animals chronically ingesting ethanol effectively normalized heart size, systolic blood pressure, and reduced plasma ethanol concentration. Dietary magnesium supplementation also normalized the acute inhibitory action of ethanol on isometric force, isotonic shortening, and the intracellular calcium transient.

Brown RA Crawford M Natavio M Petrovski P Ren J: Dietary magnesium supplementation attenuates ethanol-induced myocardial dysfunction, Alcohol-Clin-Exp-Res. 1998 Dec; 22(9): 2062-72 1998

Deficiency in athletes

Deficiency in athletes

Athletes may be at an increased risk for magnesium deficiency, according to this study conducted on 40 endurance-trained athletes aged 22-26 years old. The researchers found that significant losses of Mg occurred in the presence of negative Mg balance and Mg deficiency in endurance-trained subjects during prolonged exposure to hypokinesia, daily mg supplements, and Mg loading tests. This suggests that Mg is not entering or being retaining by the bones and cells of many tissues where most Mg is deposited normally, resulting in Mg deficiency as was shown by the increased serum Mg concentration.

Zorbas YG Kakurin AG Kuznetsov NK Federov MA Yaroshenko YY: Magnesium loading effect on magnesium deficiency in endurance-trained subjects during prolonged restriction of muscular activity, Biol-Trace-Elem-Res. 1998 Aug; 63(2): 149-66 1998

Hypertension & Magnesium


Low levels of serum magnesium may be slightly related to the development of hypertension, according to this study conducted on 7731 patients over a period of six years. Fasting serum Mg was measured, and usual dietary intake was assessed with a food frequency questionnaire. After adjustment for age, race, and a number of other risk factors, the odds of incident hypertension across ascending quartiles of serum Mg were 1.0, 0.79, 0.85, and 0.70 in women, and 1.0, 0.87, 0.87, and 0.82 in men. While the researchers found no association between dietary Mg intake and incident hypertension, the study indicates that low magnesium may play a modest role in the development of hypertension.

Peacock JM Folsom AR Arnett DK Eckfeldt JH Szklo M: Relationship of serum and dietary magnesium to incident hypertension: the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) Study, Ann-Epidemiol. 1999 Apr; 9(3): 159-65 1999



Supplementation with magnesium may prevent or alleviate the symptoms of migraine (with and without aura), according to this study. There is a reasonable amount of empirical evidence, and further research is warranted considering its low cost and favorable side effects profile. An attempt at prophylaxis in mild to mid-severe migraine with a daily dose of 600 mg (about 50 mEq) Mg seems to be justified.

Schuck P Bohmer K Resch KL: Migraine and prevention of migraine: the value of magnesium, Schweiz-Med-Wochenschr. 1999 Jan 23; 129(3): 63-70 1999

Premenstrual Syndrome & Magnesium

Premenstrual Syndrome

Long-term, daily supplementation with magnesium may alleviate the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome, according to this study conducted 38 women over a period of two cycles. The women were given a daily supplement of 200 mg of magnesium, and were asked to keep a daily record of their symptoms. None of the women exhibited any improvement during the first cycle; however, in the second month there was a greater reduction in the hydration-symptoms (weight gain, swelling, breast tenderness, bloating) of PMS. A daily supplement of 200 mg of Mg (as MgO) reduced mild premenstrual symptoms of fluid retention in the second cycle of administration.

Walker AF De Souza MC Vickers MF Abeyasekera S Collins ML Trinca LA: Magnesium supplementation alleviates premenstrual symptoms of fluid retention, J-Womens-Health. 1998 Nov; 7(9): 1157-65 1998

Type II diabetes

Type II diabetes

Patients with Type II diabetes may have deficient levels of magnesium, and supplementation may therefore aid in metabolic control, according to this study conducted on 128 diabetes patients. Patients received a placebo, 20.7 mmol MgO, or 41.4 mmol MgO daily for 30 days. In the placebo and in the 20.7 mmol Mg groups, neither a change in plasma and intracellular levels nor an improvement in glycemic control were observed. Replacement with 41.4 mmol Mg tended to increase plasma, cellular, and urine Mg and caused a significant fall in fructosamine. These results indicate that prolonged use of high-dose magnesium may be necessary to improve control or prevent chronic complications of diabetes type II.

Lima M de L Cruz T Pousada JC Rodrigues LE Barbosa K Cangucu V: The effect of magnesium supplementation in increasing doses on the control of type 2 diabetes, Diabetes-Care. 1998 May; 21(5): 682-6 1998

Heart Disease & Magnesium

Heart disease & Magnesium

Patients with coronary artery disease (CAD), and who are taking aspirin, may benefit from oral magnesium therapy to reduce the risk for blood clots (thrombosis), according to this double-blind study conducted on 42 patients with stable CAD. Subjects received either 800-1,200 mg/day magnesium oxide or placebo for 3 months, underwent a 4-week washout, and cross-over treatment for the final 3 months. Patients in the magnesium group exhibited a 35% reduction in average platelet-dependent thrombosis over placebo. Further experimentation determined that these results are not related to platelet aggregation or P-selectin expression.

Shechter M, et al: Beneficial antithrombotic effects of the association of pharmacological oral magnesium therapy with aspirin in coronary heart disease patients, Magnes Res 2000 Dec;13(4):275-84

Atherosclerosis & Magnesium


Magnesium has been shown to decrease plaque formation in animals with a high cholesterol diet, and according to this study on apolipoprotein E-deficient mice, it may also inhibit plaque formation in animals consuming a low cholesterol diet. Test animals were given magnesium sulfate in their drinking water for twelve weeks, while control animals drank tap water. After the amount of blood lipids, the density of macrophages in the aortic root, and the extent of artherosclerosis were measured, it was determined that the female mice who had received magnesium in their diet had significantly smaller plaque areas than those females who did not. No significant differences in plaque area were found in male test mice. It was also found that magnesium reduced cholesterol and triglyceride levels; however, magnesium supplementation did not affect HDL cholesterol levels.

Ravn HB, Korsholm TL, Falk E: Oral magnesium supplementation induces favorable antiatherogenic changes in ApoE-deficient mice, Arterioscler Thromb Vasc 2001 May;21(5):858-62

Ischemic Heart Disease & Magnesium

Ischemic heart disease

Following the recommended daily intake of magnesium may be an important way to maintain a healthy heart, according to this randomized, double-blind study. A daily diet of conventional foods containing less than one-half of the recommended dietary allowance for magnesium (320 mg/day) was given to 22 post-menopausal women. The magnesium concentrations in the women's erythrocytes, serum, and urine were noticeably lower when dietary magnesium was lower. Holter electrocardiograms showed that both supraventricular and supraventricular plus ventricular heartbeats were significantly increased with the low magnesium intake as well. This effect is important because magnesium has been suggested to be beneficial in fending off ischemic heart disease. People who use diuretics, live in soft water areas, or who are predisposed to magnesium loss or irregular heartbeats may need to increase their dietary magnesium to avoid magnesium depletion.

Klevay LM, Milne DB: Low dietary magnesium increases supraventricular ectopy, Am J Clin Nutr 2002 Mar;75(3):550-4